Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Java IoT, Adobe Flex

Java IoT: Blog Feed Post

Java, Soviet Union, and Job Interviews

Back in the seventies, I’d been taking entry exams to the Kiev Politechnic Institute (KPI)

Back in the seventies, I’d been taking entry exams to the Kiev Politechnic Institute (KPI).  I lived in the Ukraine, which was a part of the Soviet Union. At that time people of Jewish descent had a really hard time getting into most of the colleges and universities. Typically, there were four entry exams for the engineering majors: the verbal math, the written math, the verbal physics, and essay. There were no such things as multiple choice tests – we had to solve problems.

Being a Jewish boy myself, I was raised knowing that getting into college would be extremely difficult for me, and I had to be much better prepared than regular Ukrainian and Russian kids. I was strong in math (can’t say this about the physics though).

Anyway, during the first written test at KPI, there was a problem with the purposely wrong description. Each of the400 people who were taking this test had to solve it.  I caught the trick in that problem, and my written math grade was 4 out of 5.  Two hundred and twenty people got 2 out of 5, which meant that they wouldn’t even be accepted to the second exam.

At the verbal math exam, each applicant had to randomly pick a sheet (a.k.a. ticket) with different written problems. Everybody was sitting in a large auditorium preparing their answers followed by the face-to-face conversation with a professor. He or she was reviewing your solutions and could ask additional questions.

I glanced at my sheet – all the problems were easy for me. I quickly wrote the answers, than helped a girl sitting next to me (this was her fifth attempt to get admitted) and wrote all the answers for the guy in the military costume - guys who served in the army had a preferential treatment (you may be surprised, but helping other people during the tests was considered a noble thing to do in the USSR). Each of them had a face-to-face before me and each of them got a quick 4 without any additional questions. I said to myself, that if they got 4, I could expect getting 5 out of 6

Then was my turn.  All answers for the ticket problems were correct, and then the professor started to ask me additional questions. After answering 11 (!) questions correctly, he asked me the next one from trigonometry, “What’s the difference between the graphs of functions arcsine and arccosine”.  Piece of cake. I started answering “The function arcsine looks the same as arccosine… ” He didn’t let me finish or draw the graphs. “Stop. So you think that arsine and arccosine look the same? Your grade is 2.” This meant the end of my exams.

I was speechless for a moment…He didn’t let me finish the sentence! I started mumbling that I was awarded a second place in the math Olympiad of the central borough of Kiev. Then I pooled out the award certificate… He just said, “Apparently your math was better back then, but now you have a serious gap in trigonometry…”

Two months later I went to Novocherkassk, Russia, which was a town 600 miles away from home, got two easy fives on both math tests, 4 on essay and 3 on physics, and got admitted to the Applied Math major.

Several years ago, I was browsing books on Amazon and found a pretty interesting one - “You Failed Your Math Test, Comrade Einstein” .  The authors compiled many tough math problems that were prepared specifically for the Jewish students applying to the Soviet “Ivy League" universities.  I bought this book to show my respect to the authors for their work. People who live in Ukraine now, tell me that this practice is gone, and everyone has equal opportunities on entrance exams...I wish all the best to the people of the Ukraine.

What does all this have to do with Java and job interviews here in the US?  These days I often interview people who apply for jobs. A face-to-face interview is similar to that entrance verbal exam. The only difference is that in the US people are graded based on their skills rather than ethnicity.

But let’s imagine for a moment that you are conducting a technical interview on Java programming and need to have a special question to ensure that the person you don’t like won’t pass. I’m going to arm you with one.

After years of interviewing enterprise Java developers of different levels, I can attest that 90% of them don’t bother learning new features of the language and just get by using whatever they learned some time in their past. For example, nine out of ten people still believe that there are only two ways of creating a Java thread – subclass a Thread or implement Runnable. You also thought so? I know. The “new way” was introduced to Java only six years ago. You want to learn another way? Get my recent book “Java Programming. 24-hour Trainer.”

Here’s the killer question that 95% of the Java programmers won’t answer correctly.  “Give all examples of usage of the keyword final”.
The candidate sits quietly for 30 seconds just to show that he's thinking about the best way of answering this easy question, then he writes the following on a piece of paper:

•     If a method declared final, this method can’t be overridden.

static final double convertToCelsius(double far){
return ((far - 32) * 5 / 9);
}

•    If a class is declared final, you can’t be subclass (extend) it

final class Tax {…};

•    The value for the final variable can be assigned only once

static final int BOILING_TEMP = 212; // in Fahrenheit

Say politely, “Great, this is correct.  Are these all the uses of the keyword final that you can recollect?” As I said earlier, the chances that the candidate knows the fourth use are about 5%.  He goes, “Java has no any other use of the final keyword, I’m positive.” At this point you thank him for giving you great answers and say that an HR person will be in touch shortly.  This is one of the major differences between the US and USSR.  We don’t say give the final answers while the candidate is still here. The phrase “Your answer is wrong “ or “You have a serious gap in trigonometry” could lead to unpredictable reaction from the candidate. We  don’t want any conflicts. Let him leave in peace.
The mission is accomplished - he failed the job interview!

Recently released Java 7 has a new feature called final rethrow. In my opinion, it’s a pretty useless feature that you can live without. Besides, it makes the code more difficult to read.  Now, it’s legal to write something like this:

private void throwExceptions() throws A, B, C {
try {
throwAccordingToIndex(new Random().nextInt(2));
} catch (final Exception  e){
System.out.printf("Caught %s and rethrowing...%n", e);
throw e;
}
}
To make things even more confusing, writing the keyword final here is not mandatory.  But hey, the candidate didn’t know about this use, which means that his skills on Java are not current. And our team of sharp developers don’t need people with rusty skills. For the next several years this question will help you eliminate the candidates you don’t want to have beer with. No one will use this feature, and Java practitioners won't have a chance to see it in anyone’s code.

Do you like my strategy? Neither do I.  I’ll remember that episode with arcsine till I die, and will never apply such techniques.  So why did I write this blog? To be honest with you, I don’t know.  For some reason, when I learned about this feature, I couldn’t find any other use for it other than a secret weapon for the dirty interviewers.

Update. After re-reading this piece, I realized that it didn't cover an important use case: what if the job applicant knows about this fours use of the final? Ask what he thinks about this new feature. If he has any opinion about this feature, hire him.  He follows the latest developments in the Java language and cares to form an opinion.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

@ThingsExpo Stories
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...